12 October, 2014 Charlena Edge 0 Comment

Earlier this year, my husband saw an episode of Dr. Oz where he discussed the dangers of eating microwave popcorn. According to Dr. Oz, the chemicals in the bag may cause cancer and to avoid these chemicals, but still enjoy microwave popcorn, you can pop popcorn in a plain lunch bag. I never bothered to research this…partly because if Dr. Oz says it then it must be true, but mostly because I heard this in the news before. Even before the Dr. Oz segment, I had stopped buying microwave popcorn and was popping it the old fashioned way on the stove.

Once I heard about the paper bag though, I was super excited and couldn’t wait to try it. Well, I have been popping popcorn in a paper bag since May and just now decided I should share how I do it.

Before I got started popping today’s bag, I did a quick Google search of “microwave popcorn danger”. Search results revealed the Dr. Oz video clip along with a bunch of news stories. I went one step further and took advantage of using a medical research database I learned about in my herbal class.

One study revealed that microwave popcorn can in fact make you sick, not only because of additives in the bag that make the bag oil proof, but also chemicals in the butter flavoring. So, in this case, real butter, real salt, and a real bag are the way to go. (Study information below)

To make popcorn in a paper bag:

Measure 2 Tlbs. butter into a microwave safe cup

Microwave 35-45 seconds until melted

Measure out 1/2 cup of popcorn. I used 1 cup here…trust me, don’t do that. 🙂

Get yourself a regular paper lunch bag

Pour in the popcorn

Fold the bag at the corners

Then fold down twice

Microwave 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 minutes

Pour freshly popped popcorn into a bowl

Pour on melted butter and sprinkle with sea salt

Paper Bag Popcorn

½ cup popcorn

2 Tlbs. butter

Sea salt to taste

Paper lunch bag

Put two tablespoons of butter into a microwave safe cup and microwave for 35-45 seconds until melted. Pour popcorn into lunch bag. Fold bag at the corners then fold twice to close. Microwave bag 2:30 – 3:30 minutes. Pour popped popcorn into a bowl. Pour on melted butter. Sprinkle with sea salt. Enjoy!

*Popping time will vary depending on your microwave. Stop microwave when popping slows. There will be more un-popped kernels at the bottom of the paper bag than a store bought bag of microwave popcorn.

Study info:

Evaluation of the butter flavoring chemical diacetyl and a fluorochemical paper additive for mutagenicity and toxicity using the mammalian cell gene mutation assay in L5178Y mouse lymphoma cells.

Whittaker P, Clarke JJ, San RH, Begley TH, Dunkel VC. Food Chem Toxicol. 2008 Aug;46(8):2928-33. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2008.06.001. Epub 2008 Jun 10.

Diacetyl (2,3-butanedione) is a yellowish liquid that is usually mixed with other ingredients to produce butter flavor or other flavors in a variety of food products. Inhalation of butter flavoring vapors was first associated with clinical bronchiolitis obliterans among workers in microwave popcorn production. Recent findings have shown irreversible obstructive lung disease among workers not only in the microwave popcorn industry, but also in flavoring manufacture, and in chemical synthesis of diacetyl, a predominant chemical for butter flavoring. It has been reported that perfluorochemicals utilized in food packaging are migrating into foods and may be sources of oral exposure. Relatively small quantities of perfluorochemicals are used in the manufacturing of paper or paperboard that is in direct contact with food to repel oil or grease and water. Because of recent concerns about perfluorochemicals such as those found on microwave popcorn bags (e.g. Lodyne P208E) and diacetyl in foods, we evaluated both compounds for mutagenicity using the mammalian cell gene mutation assay in L5178Y mouse lymphoma cells. Lodyne P208E was less toxic than diacetyl and did not induce a mutagenic response. Diacetyl induced a highly mutagenic response in the L5178Y mouse lymphoma mutation assay in the presence of human liver S9 for activation. The increase in the frequency of small colonies in the assay with diacetyl indicates that diacetyl causes damage to multiple loci on chromosome 11 in addition to functional loss of the thymidine kinase locus.

You can search for medical studies here. Pubmed is sponsored by the US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.

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About Me

Charlena Edge

Charlena Edge

Hi, welcome to my humble abode! I’m Charlena, wife, mother of two, pet mommy, full-time worker, sporadic crafter, former floral designer, trial and error gardener, future chicken owner, and wanna be farmer. I have a Master’s degree in Therapeutic Herbalism. In between my disjointed, seemingly unrelated posts, I hope to share some of what I’ve learned. Thanks for stopping by!

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